Thought Leadership

From a MarTech Stack to a Holistic Ecosystem

Your Manual for Driving Considered Customer Experiences

In what’s known as “The Great App Explosion”, where the MarTech space continues to grow with new platforms and solutions, it’s no surprise that many marketers feel like a kid in a candy store. With so much choice, it’s also not surprising that almost 70% of marketers swapped a MarTech application between 2020 and 2021. Despite this movement, we regularly talk to organizations that haven’t come close to achieving their customer experience objectives with their current MarTech stack.

Why? Often, it’s because they’ve taken a “pick ‘n’ mix” approach to their digital investments. Other times, it’s because their marketing and IT departments are yet to develop a strong working relationship. Instead of collaborating, many chief marketing officers (CMOs) and chief information officers (CIOs) make their investment decisions in a silo.

This needs to change. A report from the CMO Council and KPMG concluded that strong CMO-CIO relationships are crucial for driving real value through MarTech, and its claims are backed up. The same report found that 75% of organizations with “very effective” marketing-IT relationships make data-driven decisions regularly. This drops to just 24% in companies with “effective” relationships.

To create customer experiences that count, organizations need to keep data-driven decision-making at the heart of every strategy – and this relies on having a connected MarTech stack. That’s why we’ve developed a two-part handbook to help organizations build a suite of MarTech tools that drive value for customers at scale, with key insights for CMOs, CIOs, and chief data officers (CDOs) too.

In Volume 1, Creating a Well-oiled MarTech Stack: From a Static Stack to a Holistic MarTech Ecosystem, we offer a framework for transforming disparate data sets into customer-centric engagements. The key is to develop an “ecosystem” that spans the customer data value chain (CDVC), from data integration through to journey orchestration.

NGDATA Forrester Wave Positioning

Throughout, we take a closer look at these components and why a successful MarTech stack needs capabilities that excel across all four.

  • Data Integration
    There’s a wealth of customer data for organizations to derive value from, but this relies on being able to collect it successfully. At this stage, you need a solution that integrates and unifies high-quality customer data from all available channels and touchpoints. This is how you’ll start to create and learn from a single customer view (SCV), a centralized display of your customers’ behaviors, preferences, and contexts.
  • Insights and Predictions
    Next, you need to be able to apply intelligence to your data to transform fragmented sets into insights. This is where a customer analytics platform with strong identity resolution capabilities <link to identity resolution blog> holds power. Once you have an always optimized, real-time view of each customer, you can start to understand and meet their needs at key moments. What’s more, you can anticipate how and when your customers’ needs will evolve throughout their lifecycle based on their changing behaviors and circumstances.
  • Intelligent Decision-making
    This is the point at which disconnected MarTech stacks often let organizations down. If you can’t apply intelligence to what you know about your customers, you’ll struggle to choose if, when, where, and how to engage with them. Here, you need decision-making functionalities that build upon customer analytics with real-time interaction management (RTIM). This will help you determine the next best experience for every person at every stage. With a solution that combines these capabilities, you can start to achieve real customer centricity with timely, targeted, and contextually relevant engagements.
  • Journey Orchestration
    Once you’ve determined the next most valuable experience for your customers, it’s time to make it happen. For this, you need an orchestration platform that communicates with the most appropriate execution channels in your stack. This is crucial to driving considered engagements at the most impactful time.


Journey orchestration may be the final stage in the CDVC, but there’s still more data to gather. To keep delivering personalized engagements, you need a solution that never stops learning from your customers’ interactions (or the lack of them). This feedback is invaluable, and with a well-connected MarTech ecosystem, you can use it to optimize every customer journey moving forward.

If you’re interested in learning more about building a MarTech stack that spans the CDVC, you’ll find a wealth of insights in Volume 1 of our handbook. We also consider how a MarTech “brain” can be the link between data integration and journey orchestration, and what an end-to-end engagement platform of this caliber looks like. (Spoiler alert: it looks something like the Intelligent Engagement Platform…)

Creating a Well-oiled MarTech Stack: From a Static Stack to a Holistic MarTech Ecosystem is available to download here. Volume 2 is also on its way, so keep your eyes peeled!

To learn more about the Intelligent Engagement Platform, our advanced solution with customer analytics and RTIM at the core, all you need to do is get in touch or schedule a product tour.